Tuesday, November 26, 2013

YOGURT - Collected Songs - Tape - 1993 - 2002?

  I want to start this off by saying that I'm not sure if I can tell you much more about YOGURT that hasn't already been said more eloquently here or here.
   For the uninitiated, YOGURT is the home recorded output and brainchild of HICKEY guitarist/vocalist, Matty Luv. Also thrown into the mix was his longtime collaborator/best friend Aesop Dekker, various housemates, random bandmates, answering machines, found tapes and whoever happened to walk by when he was recording. YOGURT was often unfairly held up to the same standards of HICKEY, who's recorded output was completely unfuckwithable, but YOGURT was a different beast altogether. It's fairly standard practice for the general public to hold an artist up to their past accomplishments and scrutinize their current projects in this fashion. I was told by a few different people that YOGURT was "kind of like HICKEY without teeth", but I think this is wrong. YOGURT, while made by the same people, was experimenting into different realms and allowing themselves to be silly when they felt like it. As awesome as HICKEY was, it seemed like the band became a job to those involved where they had to take on a role as some sort of gutter-punk superhero at all times. I imagine that it must have been free-ing to let their guard down and branch out with a lot of this home recorded material. I dubbed a bunch of these songs off of my friend Sarah T when I stayed in her room in Georgia for a week. Over the years, many of these songs have become indispensable to me. From the noisy, sample laden experimentation to the beautiful guitar layered instrumentals to the short pop songs
  For a short time, YOGURT was a live band, featuring the original HICKEY lineup of Matty, Aesop and Chubby. I was visiting San Francisco in the late 90's and I found out that they were playing a bike messenger bar in the SOMA neighborhood. No less than three people tried to talk me out of going, explaining that YOGURT was boring and nothing like their former glory. I didn't care. I was some young southern punk visiting from Alabama and I wanted to see these guys that I looked up to. After dodging a fist fight in the alley, I made my way inside and, no, they were nothing like HICKEY because they weren't trying to be like that. It was still rad and I'm glad I didn't follow the advice of any of my friends. I feel lucky that I got to see them at all.
    This download is taken from the (now dead) link from the Cosmic Hearse blog and contains a ton of songs from different tapes. There's even more YOGURT songs out there. I once sifted through a small cardboard box full of random tapes from Matty's room, all of them teeming with home recorded songs and hazy band practices. The sheer amount of music that he recorded is dizzying to think about. Please enjoy this small bit of some of the best stuff he put out there.

Monday, November 25, 2013

TRAUMA HARNESS - "Leechman / New Dark World" - Tape - 2012

    Whenever I see the unmistakable art of Lumpy, I pick up the release and take it without any thought because I know that the sounds contained within will be interesting, thought-provoking and/or fucking punk in the exact way that I like. I ran into this tape on an icy cold January day at a record store in Asheville, NC. It was only $1.95. The clerk looked at it and sniffed "You actually want this?" Yeah.

   TRAUMA HARNESS plays dark, noisy, fucked post-punk and the two songs on this cassingle are a stellar intro into what the band has to offer. "Leechman" is upbeat, yet dark and creepy, but "New Dark World" is what really made my $1.95 feel well spent. The song is held together by a dark, repetitive bass line while the guitar riffs away into single-note abandon. It sounds claustrophobic and tense. It also reminds me of how I wanted JOY DIVISION to sound when I was a teenage punk, rather than what they actually sound like, if that makes any sense. Download it and listen to it while walking down a cold, lonely street at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday and see if you get chills.

To hear more by TRAUMA HARNESS, check out their Bandcamp page. You could also just download this tape from them, rather than getting my rip from the cassette. To order physical tapes and more, I urge you to click over to Spotted Race and spend your stupid cash on weird ephemera to clutter your room.
I meant to upload this yesterday, but I got terribly distracted by a text flurry...I mean, it's 2013. Deal with it. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

TRENCHES - Demo - Tape - 2013

   I have a problem of either showing up to parties too early when no one is there or too late when everyone is too drunk to form sentences. It's a rare occasion when I show up and the party is in full swing. Everyone is dancing. People are looking good. The party conversation is tight.
    I could apply this same line of thought to the Oakland hardcore scene. I was trying to see  REPLICA for ages, but I would always show up too late and walk in when they hit the last note of the last song. Same thing with PERMANENT RUIN and NO STATIK. When I finally saw all of these bands, they blew my little fucking mind (and still do). So, when I was rushing over to the East Bay on the train last week to go see TRENCHES, I wasn't too surprised to find that I had missed them by 5 minutes (I still got to see THE LIGHT though, so it's still a win). I bought a tape because I knew it would be good and I wasn't wrong.

    TRENCHES combines members of HUNTING PARTY, REPLICA, NO BABIES and more to bring you vicious, snarling, ragged Bay Area hardcore. Boo Boo, on vocals, explodes into every song. The band sounds tough, yet paranoid and on guard at all times...which is actually just what it's like to live in Oakland most of the time. In short, this shit rules and I can't wait until the day when I'm finally in the same room with them. Don't show up too late to the party.

Also, follow that link to buy your own tape. 5 songs in less than 5 minutes!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


NEON PISS - On The Streets - 2011 - Worcester, MA - Photo By Greg Harvester

THE DUNGEONEERS - Distant Castle - 2013 - Worcester, MA - Photo by Greg Harvester

COUNTY Z - The Hi Ho Lounge - 2003 - New Orleans, LA - Photo by Greg Harvester

DOO RAG - Live on the Radio - 1994 - Birmingham, AL - Photo by Angie Elliott

JARVIS - Some Club - 2001 - Huntsville, AL - Photo By Brontez Purnell

JIMMY SHOTWELL - Crabb Fest - 2010 - Athens, OH - Photo by Greg Harvester

BLACK RAINBOW - The Vault - 2009 - Milwaukee, WI - Photo by Andy Junk

Monday, November 18, 2013

BLOOD TRUCK - Tape - 2004

   In my mind, BLOOD TRUCK was around long enough to make this tape, dub 12 copies of it and go on a short tour with BEASTHEAD. I had the good fortune of seeing both bands play to a tiny but appreciative crowd at a coffeeshop by the tracks in Pensacola, FL.Some of the members lived in the decaying, rotting warehouse called Nowe Miasto in New Orleans, which would be flooded by Hurricane Katrina within a couple of years.
   This eight song tape showcases the ramshackle, falling apart glory that was BLOOD TRUCK. Inspiration by TEENAGE JESUS AND THE JERKS, feminist theory and New Orleans life makes for quite an interesting listening experience. Get fucked.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

ROOT ROT - Demo - Tape - 2012

   When I was growing up in my two-stoplight town, I got a cheap drum set and set out to learn how to play it. I read articles in corporate magazines about how the RAMONES played laughably simple songs, so I set out to play along to their records. When I listened to them, they sounded so pro to me. Machine-like. Precise. Perfect. What they play is not actually simple. I'm pretty sure that whoever the idiot was that played drums for THE EAGLES could never play as fast and precise as Marky Ramone.
   I didn't realize it for another year or two, but I needed to be listening to bands like BEAT HAPPENING or the first BIKINI KILL 12"...music that was sometimes rudimentary and rough around the edges but still forceful and fucking punk in their own unique ways. I would've even settled for any peers who were into punk and had a cool band, but I wasn't even lucky enough for that. Instead, I would just play a fucked up, 13 year old kid version of a blast beat while one of my friends would just make noise on a guitar for eight minutes and we would call that a song. It sucked.
   I needed a band in my town like ROOT ROT, who are rudimentary and basic, yet they get their point across....and they know how to play chords most of the time. When I first heard the band, I was convinced it was three 8 year old girls. That's not a slight against them, but an honest observation. Now, I'm convinced that they're either teenagers or in their 30's, but really, their age is probably the least important thing about them. They rumble through their songs with a fucked up guitar tone and a refreshing don't-give-a-fuck attitude. One of my favorite songs on this tape is "Fuck Gender" but my favorite moment of all is at the end of "Cult" when the band is chanting "Outside of society! That's where I wanna be!" along to an accompaniment of a shambling SHAGGS-like drumbeat. It's totally perfect. Somehow, ROOT ROT takes different elements of OLD SKULL, early CRASS and other weird old UK punk and make it work for them in their own weird way. I really wish they had been around when I was a kid, but I'll take it now too.

Side 2 is left on here as one long track. On the tape, it states "screwing around side." More accurately, it sounds like someone turned on a tape recorder during band practice while a toddler walked around them....and an answering machine message...and some other stuff....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

VACCUUM - "Space-Fi Demo" - Tape - 2011

   When my band went to Europe last year, I had a daily ritual in the van. No matter what, I would make a point to listen to the entire FROZEN TEENS LP (buy it here) and this VACCUUM demo. I had previously heard the original VACCUUM demo and even seen the band live, but I would be hard pressed to tell you what they sound like other than "noisy hardcore". With this demo, something clicked in my head and I've had it on repeat ever since. The band took four songs from two different EP's and gave them a serious remix...and the drums are played on a shoe box...and the vocals are almost bored...I don't know...I love this shit soooo much. It's the perfect kind of music for a tape. It just sounds perfectly fucked out.
   This tape is an excellent compliment to their later EP that was given the remix treatment by PIG HEART TRANSPLANT. To tell you the truth, I don't even remember what the original band sounds like because I've listened to their remixes way more than their original recordings. Join me, why don't you? Get obsessed.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

EVERYTHING WENT PINK - Compilation - Tape - 2000

   "Everything Went Pink" is a tape that was released by Dan B back in 2000 that specifically covered the DIY punk scene in Asheville, NC, which was mostly centered around a giant punk house called the Pink House (located at/near 201 Broadway...it's now either a parking lot or condos.) It was kind of a magical time in the history of that town. A whole bunch of freaks happened to converge on the town all at once, from Minneapolis, New Orleans, California, Montreal and even the suburbs of Buncombe County. Some lived in cold-ass houses in Woodfin. Other lived in makeshift shacks out by the freeway (like everyone in MARGARET MOTHER OF THIEVES). Many others, including myself, lived in the Pink House, right in the middle of all the chaos. The house itself was kind of a freak magnet since it was a giant two-story pink place, the door was almost always unlocked, it housed a teeming library and it welcomed just about anyone who walked through the door. The landlord was a member of CRASH WORSHIP and he could often be found smoking weed by the toxic creek in our back yard. I'm pretty sure that, at one point, 17 people were living in the house.
    There was a time when there was almost nowhere for DIY punk bands to play in town, so a bunch of folks from the house decided to clear out piles of the landlord's bikes and crap in the basement to make their own show space. There was a big problem though. Raw sewage and toxic creek water leaked straight into the basement, right into the area where bands would play. No problem...a group of punks (namely Joseph, Big Mike and Ed....possibly Luke too) built a retaining wall / ditch all the way through the basement and bored a hole though the back wall so that water could drain out though ANOTHER drainage ditch into the toxic creek! Thus, the punk club, Oh My! was born. Every time a band played there, the audience ran the risk of falling into the shitty toxic trough and the band ran the risk of getting a huge electrical shock! Still, it was the best place for shows and it's where I saw many life-changing events.

  Most of the songs on this tape were recorded live on a handheld tape recorder at Oh My! Others were recorded at clubs in town, other houses and shacks. Most of the sound quality could be described as "assy", but I respect that the bands worked with what they had, which was almost nothing. Lots of bands on this tape don't have any other recordings. Many do. You can try and differentiate that distinction for yourself. Bands include WAR TORN BABIES, CRAP FACTORY, ASTRID OTO, RAT ATTACK, CHRIST FILTHY DOGS (which I've been wanting to re-use as a band name for years), DEAD THINGS, TRASH NIGHT and more. There's 43 songs in all. Enjoy or don't.

Did I upload this just to have digital copies of SLATTER HAGS and the final song on the tape? Possibly, but don't tell anybody. 
Tape hiss abounds. Terrible sound quality. Totally beautiful. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

PHOTO POST - Behind The Music Edition

Roadies A.M.O.S. and Evan on ALLERGIC TO BULLSHIT tour - The Hideout - 2003 - Harwood, ND - Photo by Greg Harvester

Morgan and Ivy losing their minds on a particularly long drive on BLACK RAINBOW tour - The Van - 2008 - Somewhere in Florida - Photo by Shannon Smith

Boat Life with Evan and Sarah - The Tsun Ozzy - 2002 - Somewhere in eastern Tennessee - Photo by Greg Harvester

Carey's bloody hand / guitar after a DRILLER KILLERS show - Melita's basement - 1997 - Dalton, GA - Photo by Greg Harvester

YOUR HEART BREAKS pre-show set up - Sweet Hickory - 2008 - Bloomington, IN - Photo by Greg Harvester

Chrissie and Carey finishing zines at Kinko's and drinking all the free coffee - Kinko's - 2001 - Asheville, NC - Photo by Greg Harvester

Ryan and Chrissie in the van on JARVIS / DICK WAN DYKES tour - The Van - 2000 - Somewhere in North Carolina - Photo by Greg Harvester

Helping hands in the pit - Some punk show - 2004 - Chattanooga, TN - Photo by Shannon Smith

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

LEG - Self Titled EP - 2002

   LEG, according to their record insert, started as a joke because their friend needed an extra band to play a show. Then, they just kept existing. Listening to their songs, I can tell that they're definitely no joke. Over the course of the few shows I saw them play (always in cramped Indiana basements), I could tell that they didn't take themselves too seriously, but still invested serious time into developing finely crafted pop hooks. Jim, the guitarist, had a bit of a lazy handed approach to playing and sometimes sloppily strummed his guitar, but then he would pull off some wizardly genius hook that let you know that he knew exactly what he was doing. After seeing them, their songs would be stuck in my head for days. I was in a band with their drummer, Matte (GIANT BAGS OF WEED), which is initially why I paid attention to LEG in the first place. When I would hear them practice or see them play shows, I soon felt like Matte and I were the ones in the joke band.

   On this recording, LEG is a four piece band with their original singer, Nick. I only saw them play with him once and he had some of the weirdest dance moves I had seen at that point in my life. Kind of like a failed marionette puppet being controlled by a blacked out senior citizen. After recording this EP, LEG became a three piece with Jim taking over on vocals. The songs are punctuated by Jim's clean guitar tones and insistent down-stroking.  I think Jim and Chris were into a lot of indie rock and took some influences from that, but I couldn't tell you what those influences were. A poor man's BUILT TO SPILL? SWIRLIES? I don't fuckin' know. I do know that I really like this band and these five songs are firmly lodged into my brain for life. If you're late to the game, now is a good time to let LEG into your life.

I don't really know what any of these people are up to now. Matte played in NANA GRIZOL, LANDLORD, GNARX and a lot more bands. Jim put out a lot of solo stuff under the name BAD KNEES and his own given birth name. You can find his music here and here (his cover of the song "A Slippery Subject" is one of the saddest things I've ever heard....I mean that positively). Chris played in Bloomington goth act TURN PALE and a pretty good JAWBREAKER cover band. I'm sure he did more too, but I don't know what it is. I like to imagine Nick dancing like a maniac...where ever he is.

This record came out on Half-Day Records in 2002. I think the band also had a tape, but I kinda think it was the same songs. I've never owned or seen the tape. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

SHORE BIRDS / SON SKULL / COMIN' UP ROSES - "Oly Punks Tour '07" - Tape - 2007

   I'm back from travels and it feels good (sort of) to be back home. I stared into dark oceans, looked into the fire, went on a 40 mile bike ride, hung out in the rain, lived life and all that. I have a lot of good stuff lined up for sharing online and I'm starting off with a contribution from my good friend, Alex Turner. Here he is to tell you about it....

   2007. Upwards of 15 people. 2 Vans. 3 Bands. 5 or 6 shows (Olympia, Portland, Oakland, Berkeley, Arcata, Eugene)? 10 days? I don't really know how it all came together, or didn't come together but in 2007 COMIN UP ROSES, SHOREBIRDS, and SON SKULL all went on a west coast tour together, and put out this tape for the occasion. I was there as a nanny for Lilly, Erica was there to help drive, Brother Ben is just really helpful, Kendra and Tinsel, we picked up in the bay, Lilly was almost 2 and Frida was in Mary's belly. Matti, Hendo, The B-Man, Swire, Mary, Nell and Hayes made up the bands. I hope I didn't forget anyone. Thinking back on it, it seems like we were on tour forever, but also I can't remember that many shows, and we went 'tour' camping at least a few times.
    It was one of those times in life where you and your friends felt invincible to the world. What we were doing was the most important and interesting thing, and that we would all be friends forever. This, of course, didn't turn out to be true. We had a lot of fun on that tour and the time leading up to it, and afterwards, as the house it was all centered around (rumbletowne) was evicted it all seemed to loose some steam. Anyways these three bands were great! I had a blast at (nearly) every show that all three of them ever played. I miss some of the friendships and that moment in time, but they are what they were. 
    Thanks to lilly, the track house, the yellow van, olympia, rumbletowne, the glass house, and milk egg.